Hard water is a reality faced by millions of people all over the world. Natural deposits found in ground water can accumulate over time in pipes and valves, as well as in machinery and appliances ranging from tea kettles to water boilers. Kitchen utensils, as well as bath, drainage and sewerage fittings can also be affected. To avoid costly maintenance or replacement, a wide range of salt free water softeners have been introduced on the market to help people avoid the problems caused by hard water.
In addition to damage caused to pipes and taps, hard water can cause considerable damage to fabrics, bedsheets, clothes, carpets and other materials. More and more detergent is also needed because the mineral deposits of hard water form scale and scum and prevent thorough, effective cleaning of whatever is being washed. Finally, build-up not only prevents efficient water flow in pipes and hinders the operation of appliances, build-up leaves stains and marks on surfaces such as sinks, mirrors, glass and other bathroom exteriors. Despite all these facts, this costly problem can be prevented using the right tools and fixtures.
Top Rated Salt-Free Water Softeners in 2016
There are different ways to tackle the problem of hard water. Some systems, such as various Fleck water softeners or WaterBoss softeners, remove all of the salt and all the deposits from water in household pipes using ion exchange. The deposits are collected in pellet form and are removed on a regular basis so that only treated water flows through pipes, faucets, and appliances. Other systems act as simple filters and remove micro fragments, debris and other impurities. Such systems are usually cheaper than salt-removal systems, and are also smaller and can fit under an individual sink. However, these systems usually have much lower water volume limits and cannot cater to entire households. Finally, there are systems that help reduce salt deposits or treat water to reduce the impact of hard water. These systems work as descalers or water conditioners and are good options depending on your water needs. Here are additional details on some of the options you should consider.
Eddy Electronic Water Descaler – Water Softener Alternative
Depending on geographical location, different levels of lime scale can develop on sinks, faucets and showers. Dissolved magnesium, calcium, and manganese compounds found in hard water are the cause, and they are not only unpleasant to have on surfaces but they restrict water flow and can reduce the efficiency of water heaters and furnaces. This electronic water descaler from Eddy is easy for anyone to fit, requires no plumbing changes or other adjustments to pipes or fittings, does not require any salt and costs much less than conventional salt-fed water softeners.
By producing a complex electro-magnetic wave which is applied through two coils placed round your incoming water supply pipe, your incoming water is subjected to an ever-changing magnetic field which changes the adhesion properties of the limescale so that it no longer deposits itself on your clean surfaces, inside pipework, and in or on appliances. The chemical hardness of the water is not changed, so beneficial minerals such as calcium are retained. This particular device has been successfully used worldwide in thousands of homes and businesses for over 15 years, is highly economical, and is considered by many to be the best environmental-friendly solution to salt-based water softeners. It also comes with a risk-free, 12-month money-back guarantee, as well as a lifetime repair or replace guarantee.
Aquios Full House Water Softener and Filter System
This system is designed for the treatment of water for the entire household. Housed in a modern, space-saving design, it boasts commercial-strength technology and ensures that physical deposits and sediment, as well as chlorine and other unwanted impurities are removed from your water. It provides pure and healthy water to you and your family while ensuring that calcium, magnesium and other minerals dissolved in hard water do not build up in fixtures and pipes. This system is different from salt-based systems and does not remove dissolved minerals. A special additive prevents build-up in faucets, internal pipes, water-using devices, shower heads, toilet basins, glass and mirrors, and other surfaces. The result is that instead of building up quickly, more minerals pass through the systems instead of being deposited along the way.
The water will feel noticeably softer, but at the same time it will not have the slippery feel that is often the case with salt water softeners such as RV water softeners or highly popular Fleck systems. Carbon block filtration, when combined with water conditioning, deliver a solution suitable for the entire household. With no pressure loss, sleek design, no need for programming, electricity or maintenance, this system is a market leader and has a 20-year warranty as well. Each cartridge lasts for about 6 months for the average house and can process 40,000 gallons.
Clearwave CW-125 Salt-Free Electronic Water Conditioner
This is a very different kind of hard water treatment system. It is a revolutionary product that treats hard water without the use of salt or chemicals, as used by traditional hard water systems. This system targets hard water particles with electromagnetic waves, treating the entire water system in your home and in the process it reduces the problems caused by hard water. By neutralizing calcium and magnesium particles in hard water, scale buildup is controlled. After treatment by the ClearWave Water Conditioner, dissolved minerals stay in the water instead of sticking to surfaces and pipes and they flow all the way to the drain or other water flow outlet. This water conditioner is much smaller, lighter and cheaper than other systems. Installation is easy, overall reviews are generally quite positive (3.7 out of 5 stars overall), and all you have to do is plug it in and you are good to go. Many customers praised the ease and simplicity of this system and were satisfied with the end result.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Salt-Free Water Softeners
For the most part, salt-free softeners are cheaper than salt softeners. The difference can be as much as several hundred dollars, which is a large enough of an amount for some customers to consider other options. The associated hassle is also less, since there are no salt pellets or collection bins that require removal or replacement. Further, these systems are generally smaller, lighter, and are installed more easily than salt-based systems. You can usually install these systems without any plumbing know-how, and you can complete installation in a few hours, that too without changing, removing or adding any new pipes, valves or other fittings.
As for disadvantages, one issue is that these systems often reduce deposited minerals from hard water, or they simply reduce lime scale and scum build-up (instead of completely cleaning the hard water of all dissolved calcium, magnesium and other minerals). As a result, water flow may be improved, as well as the lifetime of pipes and appliances, not to mention less mess on mirrors, tiles and other surfaces. However, over a long enough timeline, scum and lime scale will still build up. Finally, the amount of water that can be treated is sometimes less than the volumes that salt-based systems can manage. So where salt-based systems usually handle the water needs of an average household of 5-6 people, some of the salt-free water softening systems can only manage water for 2-3 people, or if used at a standard house that has half a dozen people, you may need to clean and de-scale fittings more frequently (within as early as six months or so).
Why Choose a Salt Free Water Softener?
The advantages above make a pretty strong case for choosing a salt free system over a traditional salt-based system. Lower price, easy installation, less maintenance cost and hassle, decent volume of water treated per cycle, duration of warranty and an overall satisfactory level of water softening in the home are understandable reasons why thousands of people have chosen salt free systems over salt systems even though those are more heavy duty.
Final recommendations and Conclusion
There are many different salt free water softeners available in the market. Some are cheaper than others, some can handle higher water volumes than others, and some have higher ratings than others.
However, on the whole, our recommendation is that you go with the Aquios full house salt free water softener and filter system. It is a little more expensive than similar salt free systems, but the commercial-strength of softening, the compact design, the ease of use and installation, and the treatable water volume that all come with a 20-year warranty make this a hard system to beat. Unless you really want to go for a high-end salt-based system and pay a few hundred dollars more for it, if sticking with a salt free system is what you want to do, then the Aquios water softener is a great deal and will do the trick for all your household, water softening, filtering and lime scale/scum removal and reduction needs.